Four Ways to Investigate Torture
An article in the New York Times this weekend explored several models for a potential investigation into the Bush Administration’s counter-terrorism policies, including torture and secret prisons. In a poll this month, 62% of Americans favor investigation of some kind. The possible models for such an investigation include: 1) Criminal Investigation, such as Iran-Contra; 2) Congressional Investigation, such as the inquiry by Senator Frank Church into intelligence abuses in the mid-1970s; 3) A Blue-Ribbon Panel, such as the 9/11 Commission; and 4) Doing nothing at all, and letting the inquiries in progress conclude.
For all the debate about the potentially divisive effects of an investigation, doing nothing at all is the most dangerous option. We may already know a lot about what went wrong with the Bush Administration’s policies. But a full reckoning is called for if we are to ensure that similar abuses are never again permitted, and in order to assess the full extent of the damage of those policies. Please join our Facebook group in support of an investigation.